Levy Court Commissioners approved a social media policy during their meeting on June 14 that will regulate the use of social media by county employees during working hours.


Levy Court Commissioners approved a social media policy during their meeting on June 14 that will regulate the use of social media by county employees during working hours.

Personnel Director Allan Kujala, as a preventative measure, introduced the policy to the commissioners earlier this spring. However, the policy was met with concern from Levy Court regarding regulations of social media use during nonworking hours. Since then, the policy has been amended to focus on the use of social media during the workday.

“We approved the final version because it met our approval and now focuses on the use of social media during working hours,” Levy Court President P. Brooks Banta said.

Under the new policy, there are three main points. County employees will now be prohibited from using social media during the workday, unless authorized by their department head to do so. Employees may, however, access social media on their lunch hour through the use of their phone.

Second, misconduct via social media may result in disciplinary action under other county regulations. Therefore, should a could employee sexually harass another employee through social media, they could face disciplinary action.

Finally, employees violating this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

When the policy was originally drafted, regulations included prohibiting employees from certain conduct on social media during non-working hours such as promoting illegal activities, disparagement of coworkers and offensive comments directed at coworkers. The policy also said employees would have a duty to report such inappropriate use of social media.

Stemming from concerns from commissioners about freedom of speech and prohibiting what employees can do during their own time, the policy was tabled

The commissioners approved the policy on Tuesday night as these concerns were eased as a result of the amendment, which now puts the focus on the policy to that of employees not using social media during working hours.

Banta said the county is fortunate to have good employees and doesn’t foresee this being an issue.

“To be quite frank, I don’t see this being a problem with employees. But with new employees, this policy will be in place so they know,” Banta said.

Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com